My Life is My Message

August 03, 2015

Every week, we feature excerpts by Gandhi that lend insight into his values and personal practices.

In the following letter to an ashram school teacher, Gandhi explains with so much kindness the reality that we all are decaying, every single day. And while he wrote to her: "I liked the curriculum. I don't think I can suggest just now any changes or improvements in it.", the letter in and on itself is a full lecture to be added to any place where learning is pursued, together with embracing voluntary simplicity.

He uses, once again, the example of his life --he even describes how his own hand is not the hand it just to be-- and encourages the reader to not fool him/her-self because we all, sooner or later, are going to physically die. And since everything changes, he invites us to leave our ignorance in the form of denial, and instead contribute to a legacy of love for all. And the smile in this photograph, in silente praise, says it all :-)

Renounce And Enjoy! (Mar 03, 1932)

"I have your letter. For some time I shall have to write with my left hand and I shall not, therefore, be able to write very long letters. The left hand cannot write as fast as the right hand can. True, Mahadev’s help will be available, but dictating to him will be a new practice so far as letters written from jail are concerned. I shall see how far I can follow that practice. I shall have to observe whether I feel at ease in dictating Ietters which are prompted purely by love. I will certainly dictate letters of business.

I was not in the least pained by your letter. All of us must grow or deteriorate in some measure every day.

Nothing remains unchanging. [...]

Beauty should certainly be praised, but silent praise is better. Moreover, renounce and enjoy! Of one who is not filled with joy by the beauty of the sky, it may be said that nothing will please him. But those who dream, in the delirium of their joy, of building a flight of steps to reach the constellations live in ignorance."  [...]

                                                                     Blessings from, Bapu 

Source: “Letter to Premabehn Kantak”, from jail. CWMG, Vol 55, p. 122-123, March 13, 1932.

Be the Change: This week, acknowledge the different ways your body is decaying and compost this reality into more wisdom and smiles :-) How have you become wiser with the passing of the years? Are you happier?